I. Mucha: We should Use Ground Water and also Protect it

27. 01. 2015

prof. RNDr. Igor Mucha, DrSc.

Interview with prof. RNDr. Igor Mucha, DrSc.

Igor Mucha was born in Bratislava in 1938. He studied at the Faculty of Sciences at Comenius University in Bratislava, field of study - Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. After successful graduation ( 1961 ), he worked in national company “Geological prospecting”, and  he has started to study at the Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology PRIF UK in 1962. This were successful finished at 1967 by defending his candidate doctoral thesis and he obtained a degree the Doctor of Natural Sciences ( RNDr. ). Besides his pedagogical work, he intensively worked on science research and on application of the information technology which helped him to solve hydrogeological tasks.

He becomes a docent at Department of Hydrogeology “PRIF UK” in 1977, he successfully defended his doctoral thesis in 1989 and was appointed to a professor in field of  Hydrogeology in 1990. During the period 1981 – 1990, he was chief of the Department of Hydrogeology  “PRIF UK”, which was, according to his idea, renamed to the Department of Groundwater. As an established expert, he also worked at the Technical High School in Denmark and he also cooperated on solving problems with water supply in Jemen and also in other states. His works, related to the water sources for the capital city Bratislava, were significant.

He is an author and coauthor of several university textbooks, from which the most important are „Hydraulics of groundwater“ (Mucha, Šestakov, 1988), „Groundwater – methods of research and exploration“ (Melioris, Mucha, Pospišil, 1986).

He was a president of several pedagogical commissions, president and member of several science commissions, conferences and congresses. In 1989, he set up a tradition of a student interchange excursions between the Technical University of Lyngby ( Denmark ) and the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Cornelius University in Bratislava. He has focused on questions related to „System of waterworks of Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros“ since 1990. As an expert he cooperated on solving wide range of the water management tasks in praxis.

He is a scientific editor of several almanacs and author of several significant special publications. In 2005, he was awarded by the „Slovak Geological company“ for his the most significant publication work concerning of geological and applied research for period 2001 – 2004. In 2006, The President of Slovak republic awarded him with „Pribinov kríž” 2nd Class for his significant merits of economic development of the Slovak Republic in the field of hydrology and environmental protection.

Prof. RNDr. Igor Mucha, DrSc. will be a lecturer in scientific café „Science in the Centre” on 29/01/2015 at 5 PM, this event is organized by the National Center for Popularization of Science and Technology, which is located near CVTI SR. On this occasion, he was asked by to make an interview with an editor of Scientific Kaleidoscope.

M. BARTOŠOVIČOVÁ: Can you briefly, in popular form summarize your discourse on theme "Groundwater – renewable source of water, water stock".

I. MUCHA: Groundwater is hidden under the surface of the earth. I would like to uncover some of the mysteries about this, in my discourse. We are not able to see it, but actually there is much more ground water than surface water (freshwater). The groundwater reconnect the water circulation in the nature with all living creatures, including the humans. The groundwater has many flavors, different temperatures, it can also be tasty or disgusting. The groundwater is influenced in every moment and in every part by many processes which we need to understand, to be able to use, protect and take care of natural environment and various human activities, by using tools of the water management. Groundwater still flows and it is a water source in the same moment, so therefore it is variable and renewable.

M. B.: Depending on what have you decided to study at the Comenius University in Bratislava, field of study -  Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology?

I. MUCHA: This decision has been made in my childhood, while I was spending all my holidays at Horehronie. The nature, the caves, the springs, the rocks for example in Heľpa fascinated me. During my high-school studies, I signed up as a volunteer at the Geological institute of Dionýz Štúr, where I was helping at almost all departments one afternoon per week. As a reward for this, I got an access to an interesting books and advices. I liked scientific fields, where we were calculating something, drawing geological profiles about how it looks under the ground, what I used to call geo-poetry. So after the high school, I signed up to the Geological-Geographic Faculty at the Comenius University in Bratislava, which has been later linked with the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

M. B.: What was your way to science?

I. MUCHA: I was doing science at the national company “Geological prospecting” in Žilina from the beginning. It was necessary to deal with problems, for example drainage at Modrokameň area, design and evaluate hydrodynamic tests, take samples, etc. I was not convinced about some of methods that we were using, so I started to study them. The department of IG and HG gained hydraulic integrator to solve complicated conditions of flowing groundwater, which was actually the first „computer“ designed to solve partial differential equations for practical purposes.  Prof. Dr. Brilla, who taught me a „flexibility and strength“, advised me not to worry about analytic and other methods, but to use computers to compute the results. I used for this a computer called Siemens which was installed in the university computing center, later on, since 1974, I was using the great science-technical personal computer called WANG. We had published all new results in textbooks and university textbooks.

M. B.: What are your memories about the work on this projects?

I. MUCHA: The biggest and the most important project was an international project called PHARE, pertain groundwater of Žitný ostrov and influence of VD Gabčíkovo on groundwater and natural environment. I was a manager of this project, which was obtained by consortium of 5 foreign companies under leading of "Hydraulic institute" of Denmark. Results from this project were successfully applied in various different works, including in defense of Waterwork Gabčíkovo at the court at Haag.

M. B.: Which of your work achievement do you consider as the most important?

I. MUCHA: All of my works were important, because they were solving problems for the  praxis. I used the results of my works during the education of my students and they are also used by my colleagues in praxis and in research. Every new task has got its science-research core.

M. B.: What are you doing nowadays?

I. MUCHA: Currently, I propagate the groundwater and the projects leading to protection and usage of the groundwater and also surface water in a reasonable manner. Groundwater is a renewable resource with its specific characteristics, and that’s why we need to use it and protect it by specific ways. Those benefits of renewable resources, which were not used till now, are lost. The future ones will be lost if they will not be protected. The protection must be related to running processes in surface water and groundwater. It concerns all kind of water.

M. B. : What is your opinion on a popularization of science in Slovakia?

I. MUCHA: This is the most difficult question of this interview. We need to popularize our slovak science. We need to take care of the development of the Slovak science, so we will be able to popularize it.

M. B.: Thank you for an interview.


Interview by: PhDr. Marta Bartošovičová

Photo by: Mgr. art. Ján Michálik

Translated by: LŠ

, personalities of science

Natural sciences

Science in CENTRE: Ground Water – Renewable Water Source and Water in Stock